Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Old 97's: Too Far to Care [Elektra, 1997]
They get depressed a lot, actually, so what say we lump them in with the new literalism, more Ass Ponys than Uncle Tupelo. Even if Rhett Miller really thinks love always turns out as bad as it does here--hell, even if he thinks third-rate romance is just a metaphor for the musician's lot--I still give him credit for keeping his eyes open. Convincer: "Barrier Reef," which renders the high hopes and depressing mechanics of a critical one-night stand in equally quick and devastating strokes. B+